[ad#post_ad]On Monday I posted a video called the Chevy Volt Dance on YouTube and wrote about it here . It was a clip of four dancers dancing to the Chevy Volt theme song called "Chevy Volt and Me" that was performed every hour at the LA Auto Show.
I thought the thing was kind of silly really and made me laugh. What I didn't know at the time, and which is one of the more fascinating things about the Internet, is that the video would "go viral."
As of this morning the clip has been viewed over 100,000 times, and has received 717 YouTube comments. It was yesterday's most popular video in the auto section and has been covered by Autoblog, Jalopnik, Engadget, and CrunchGear and even made it to the front page of Fox News. It has also been covered on countless smaller sites.
This must be a good thing right?
Maybe not. The coverage has been uniformly negative, and often venomous.
Fox put the words "your tax $$ at work" as the caption, for example. The users comments on YouTube have been extreme as well, and for a very popular video to have an average rating of one star shows it is being enjoyed for its badness.
Here are some typical comments from YouTube:
...Chevy: Why would you do this? I have only driven Chevy trucks for my entire driving life. Not anymore. I'm buying a Kia. P.S. Fire the marketing department.
...I have never written, typed or said this in my entire life. I didn't realize I was saving it for just this occasion...OMG!
...If you think we are impressed, we are. Impressed with the ignorance to stage such a juvenile presentation and the arrogance to do it with our bailout money. Can't blame this waste on the unions!
...I was 90% sure I'd never buy a chevy volt, now I'm 100% sure.
Now to be fair, GM claims they never intended this to be a widespread commercial about the Volt.
"The Volt song and dance was meant to entertain and educate families about Volt." said Volt spokesperson Dave Darovitz. "It takes a complex idea in Volt and boils it down in an understandable and fun way targeted at kids and families who attend the show."
"It was intended to draw people into the stand and create excitement," he added.
Newly minted chief of GM marketing and sales Susan Docherty claimed "I have not yet seen the Chevrolet Volt song and dance but it sounds like I need to spend some time tonight on the web viewing this." By now I'm sure she did. I wonder what she thought.
Part of the video's failure is the fact that it was taken out of context. In fact, the person who filmed it and sent it to me wrote back "we didn't think the video would get some of the negative reaction it's been getting." She added "It's a pity people can't see the whole thing in context, I mean, it was an auto show, not an evening at the Met."
Anyway, it does seem like GM might be going about Volt marketing in a less than ideal way. It is a shame to see such a high-tech, groundbreaking and important product trivialized and turned into a laughing stock, but then again maybe all publicity is good publicity.
I'll close with the excellent Volt commercial GM aired at the 2008 Olympics. Lets stick to this kind of stuff from now on GM, what do you say?